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singular they

Definition of Singular They

(noun) A gender-neutral pronoun used for an individual who does not adhere to the gender binary or used to promote gender-neutral language.

Singular They Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: sin·gu·lar they

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈsɪŋgjələr ðeɪ/
  • British English – /ˈsɪŋgjʊlə ðeɪ/

Usage Notes

  • Singular they is used where possible throughout the dictionary and other neutral terms such as partner.
  • Their, them, and they can all be used as a singular they.

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Singular They

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “singular they.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved November 19, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/singular-they/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

singular they. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/singular-they/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “singular they.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed November 19, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/singular-they/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“singular they.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/singular-they/>.